I gained 10 pounds in June, and for my money, that 10 pounds was just peanuts, as in “a small number or amount.” I’m already firmly back on track, now following my food plan that went totally, and purposefully, out the window for a full 30 days.
Truth be told, I was away all last month, and everyone knows how the word “vacation” has a tendency to pack on the pounds. A trip I’d planned for six months, I got to dust off my passport when I fulfilled a life-long dream of traveling to Korea, Japan, and China.
I’ll be writing a lengthy series of blogs about this trip in the very near future. Watch for it, and come along on the magical adventure tour!
Meanwhile, if you’d like to read about my original 252-pound weight-loss journey, here are the links:
To order the softcover online: www.JanBonoBooks.com
To download the eBook: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JanBonoBooks
I didn’t need a passport for the final trip Rick and I took together. That was in May, 2013, when we spent two full weeks in Maui for his 60th birthday. The trip before that was to England and Scotland in September, 2012, and that was the last time I’d had the opportunity to dust off my passport.
That is, until about a month ago. That’s when I decided I needed a “break” from the “real” world. I was pretty sure I could reap huge benefits from doing whatever was necessary to distance myself from debilitating angst and grief which just keeps coming at me.
So I left. For a month. And I’ll be writing about that shortly. Right now, I’m fighting off an unexpected bout of jet lag, but I’ll be up and at ’em shortly! Stay tuned!
I can’t see a penny on the ground without stooping to pick it up, reciting as I do so: “Find a penny, pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck. Find a penny, let it lay, bad luck sure to come your way…”
Stopping for a penny doesn’t mean I’m cheap—just frugal. Ingrained deep within me is the adage to “Mind the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Mother taught me that by example.
“If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it” is another good one, and that’s pretty much how I’ve lived my life. COD: Cash on Demand.
All of which leads up to the absolutely mind-boggling information I heard on Good Morning America a little while back. Apparently, not everyone’s mother was as financially astute as mine.
According to an article in USA Today (and double-checked in disbelief with back-up articles found online), travelers at US airports left a whopping $674,841.06 in “spare change” behind when they went through security checkpoints last year. And that figure was up about $37,000 from the previous year!
Holy Moly! I may be in a rush to get going and not hold up the line once I’ve cleared the scanning process, but I don’t believe I’ve EVER left “money on the table,” so to speak.
Nevertheless, next time I’ve an opportunity to fly somewhere, you can bet your boots I’ll be eagle-eyed when collecting my belongings, including every silver, nickel, or red copper cent!
Salmon, sturgeon, surf perch, oysters, crab, steamer clams and razor clams are all “seasonally available” here, and I’m not one to pass up the opportunity to enjoy them “so fresh, they’re still squirming in the skillet.”
But along with “the hunt,” there’s also the added element of utilizing various muscles (not to be confused with mussels, which are also plentiful here) that can often appreciate a new and/or different workout.
I’d been on my recumbent bike for almost two hours early one day in May when the phone rang unexpectedly.
“It’s two hours before low tide. How fast can you get over here?”
And so I hauled ass, as we locals are fond of saying, and pulled into his driveway less than 20 minutes later.
The Long Beach Peninsula boasts 28 miles of “drivable” beach, and we ventured out onto the sand in Ocean Park, and turned right. Allegedly the clams are bigger on the north end, but I’ve never seen much difference in size, no matter where you go to dig.
Eddie saw my unspoken question, and said, “I want to let Ernie run around out here, so we’re going up where there aren’t so many clam diggers.” Ernie is his rather “rambunctious” black lab.
Good luck with finding room to run. During “clam tides,” our beach becomes a virtual parking lot, top to bottom, and diggers are everywhere. Nevertheless, we did find a less-populated area, and headed out with our guns (Relax—it’s nothing more than a tube that is inserted into sand) in pursuit of the mighty (tasty) bivalve.
I’d forgotten how much work it is to dig razor clams. First, you literally stomp around until you see evidence of a clam “show,” in the form of a washer, volcano, or donut (all names for the telltale ring on the beach) which indicates a clam is pumping out sand and water while it’s nestling down deeper in the sand.
Then you work your gun down a good foot or more. Next, cover the gun’s “blow hole” with your thumb to create suction, bend your knees, and wrestle the gun upward. When it clears the beach (often accompanied by both a sucking sound from the beach and a grunt from the digger), lift your thumb, which releases the trapped sand inside. All that’s left to do is bend over and pick up your bounty.
Well maybe, maybe not. The limit here is “the first 15 clams, regardless of size or condition.” (You must keep every clam, even if you mangle it beyond recognition by dissecting it with the edge of the gun.) That’s 15 times you’re testing the limits of your back, shoulders, arms, and knees—if you’re lucky. Sometimes you miss the clam, due to it being a faster digger than you are, and sometimes you’ve got the angle wrong and it simply escapes.
On this day, I was grateful that the first 15 holes I dug yielded 15 nice, fat clams, and I came home none the worse for wear. All my muscles and joints still happily functioned, despite the fact that I’m 60 and hadn’t done this for awhile.
“Exercise” comes in many forms, and I’m inclined to count every little bit of extra-curricular activity as some form of calorie-busting and muscle-toning movement. Clam digging certainly goes on that list, particularly since I power-walked from the truck way out to the ocean at low tide and back.
(Note: I’m very competitive, and I wanted to hustle right out there to be the one to dig the first, the biggest, and return to the truck with the quickest limit, all of which I did, and even though Eddie will argue that his clam was fatter, it’s for sure mine had greater length.)
So it’s all good. As a commercial for arthritis medication claims, “A body in motion stays in motion,” and on this day, I logged in some definite creative fitness points, while burning quite a few additional calories.
But probably not enough to offset my delicious dinner of fried clams.
Summer used to be one heck of a long dry spell for us television addicts. Nothing but reruns as far as the eye could see. But times have changed. Some of my “favorite” shows are those whose season now begins where the traditional network season leaves off.
And with the advent of the DVR (the modern-day morph of the VCR I was raised on), I can record all my shows to watch at my convenience. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I actually sat down and watched television “live,” so to speak.
Watching television takes my mind off what I’m really doing, which is exercising. Since I never allow myself to just sit and watch TV, whenever the “boob tube” is on, I’m on my recumbent bike, pedaling my ass off.
It’s a definite win-win. The only drawback, as far as I’m concerned, is that my “bike lap” is only big enough for one cat at a time.